Gérard Orth (7 February 1936 – 4 September 2023): French Virologist and Researcher
Gérard Orth was a prominent French virologist, holding the position of emeritus research director at the CNRS and an honorary professor at the Pasteur Institute. His notable contributions to the field were primarily in the study of the role of viruses, particularly papillomaviruses, in the development of human cancers. His extensive research focused on their association with benign tumors as well as skin and cervical cancers.
Biography: Gérard Orth began his academic journey by graduating from the École nationale vétérinaire d’Alfort in 1959, followed by studies at the Institut Pasteur in 1960 and the faculté des sciences de Paris in 1963–1964. His scientific career encompassed roles at various prestigious institutions, including the Gustave Roussy Institute (IGR) and the Pasteur Institute (IP). He held directorial positions in several laboratories and significantly contributed to understanding the role of papillomaviruses in human cancers.
Throughout his career, Orth received acclaim for his original contributions to the understanding of the diversity of human papillomaviruses, their biology, pathogenicity, and oncogenic potential. He collaborated on research related to epidermodysplasia verruciforme, a rare skin disease associated with a high risk of skin carcinomas, providing valuable insights into the mechanisms and factors influencing the biological properties of papillomaviruses.
On 4 September 2023, Gérard Orth passed away at the age of 87, leaving behind a rich legacy of pioneering work in the field of virology.